Meet Indira Selvakumaraswamy, Canopy’s Volunteer Engagement Manager

By Canopy Team on September 11, 2020

Join us in welcoming Indira Selvakumaraswamy to the Canopy team!

Indira is Canopy’s new Volunteer Engagement Manager. She is a marketing and advertising professional with over a decade of experience working with non-profit clients. She is excited to bridge her passions and connect community members with trees and greenery. We asked Indira a few questions to get to know her better:

Indira SelvakumaraswamyTell us a bit about yourself!

Indira: My name is Indira Selvakumaraswamy and I joined the Canopy team last month.

What were you up to before joining Canopy?

Indira: I am from Chennai, a city in South India. But before moving to California, I have lived and worked in a few different parts of India at various points (and thus can speak a few different Indian languages too!). My schooling was in the eastern state of Odisha. Then, I moved to Chennai where I completed my undergraduate (Zoology) and graduate studies (Business Administration). 

My work experience spans across different sectors and different organizations. My professional work experience is in the fields of advertising and marketing where I have worked with non-profits, social marketing firms, and clients from different industries, for their marketing communication needs. I also have extensive experience interacting, working and managing people both in the non-profit and the for-profit sectors—be it adult volunteers (parents, philanthropists, donors), children/youth, and professionals like educators, administrators, marketers, and creative minds in advertising.

Why do you think trees are so important?

Indira: I think trees are important for many, many reasons. Apart from helping to give us clean air, helping to recharge the water table, protecting river and water bodies, preventing land erosion, providing food and shelter for humans and other living creatures…I feel they help to reset nature. They also help humans to reset and come closer to nature. Trees are known to provide good health benefits related to mental peace and stress reduction too. 

I care about trees because they are one of the oldest living things around us and they bring about only good benefits wherever they are present. They are truly the unsung heroes of urban life. Trees too need a voice, need to be protected and cared for so that they can continue to be a part of our world.

What excites you most about your new role at Canopy?

Indira: Taking on this role at Canopy, I feel that I will be bridging my passion and work. Being a people person, I am excited at the possibility of connecting community members to trees and greenery in different possible ways—be it big or small.

What is your favorite tree?

Indira: My evergreen favorite is the mighty Indian Banyan tree (Ficus bengalensis). But after moving to California—the ancient, enduring redwoods come close to becoming a favorite one.

What is your favorite quote?

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him….We need not wait to see what others do”.

Indira: It is one by Mahatma Gandhi (original words):

The abridged, common version is: “We must be the change, we wish to see in the world”

What is your favorite fun hobbies?

Indira: Nature, children, and animals are things I am passionate about. My other hobbies/interests include: aromatherapy, jewelery making, alternative medicine, and wholistic living.

Any last words?

Indira: I believe in the phrase—Live and let live. I feel that humans, being one of the most evolved of all species must learn (or re-learn) to cohabit thoughtfully and mindfully with each other and with all the other living creatures in our environment. If we look at different cultures, we had done that at one point, but in the name of growth, development, progress much of that has been forgotten and has fallen on the wayside. It is time to embrace it again, and in a conscious manner.

Thank you, Indira! Want to get in touch? You can reach Indira at [email protected].

Banyan tree (Ficus bengalensis) photo by Dinesh Valke via Flickr

Banyan tree (Ficus bengalensis) photo by Dinesh Valke via Flickr

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